Traffic infringements can be annoying things, especially if you feel that you didn’t deserve the penalty that you got. Perhaps you got booked for something that you didn’t think that you were doing, or perhaps you feel that the penalty for your offence was overly harsh. Whatever your situation, decent criminal lawyers can help you get around your traffic infringements. Unfortunately, this usually means that you have to go to court to have your case heard.
What are your rights?
As a citizen of Australia, you have the right to challenge any traffic infringement – be it a speeding fine, a parking ticket, or even a drink driving charge – in a court of law. Although you can go into a court without a lawyer supporting you, the chances of winning your case will be strengthened if you employ a high-quality criminal lawyer.
Electing to go to court
If you receive a traffic infringement notice which you don’t feel that you deserved, you can elect to take it to court. If it is a serious matter (like drink or drug driving), you should consult a criminal lawyer before electing to go to court, otherwise you might just be wasting your time and money.
If you do elect to go to court, you will be notified of the date that you have to be in court. When you get there, you will have to explain yourself and your actions in front of a magistrate – this is where talking your infringement over with a lawyer beforehand can be useful.
Choosing your lawyer
If you are facing a serious infringement which you feel that you have been wrongly accused of, a high quality criminal lawyer will be very helpful to your case. Yes, you can go to court and represent yourself, but this will reduce your chances of success.
If the magistrate sees that you have chosen to employ the services of a reputable lawyer, they may think that you really don’t believe that you are guilty. Not only this, but a lawyer will be much more experienced at explaining why your infringement should be thrown out, and much more likely to win the case than you would be on your own.
Once the magistrate has heard your case, he can make one of a number of decisions.
- In a best-case scenario, you will win the case and have your infringement thrown out.
- If you are found guilty, you could receive a fine which is higher or lower than the original fine – depending on the magistrate’s decision. You may also have a conviction recorded against you.
- The magistrate can also decide to adjourn the case until a later date.
- You may receive a community service order.
It is very important for either you or your criminal lawyer to attend the court hearing at the appointed date and time, otherwise you will have a very low chance of success.
*Note that the above information is correct for Victoria, but the process is very similar across Australia.